What do you love about working at 1000 Mile?
The freedom of being your own boss, the flexibility of working hours that suit you and the ability to work with the clients you choose.
What made you decide to jump into the travel industry and why?
I took the rite of passage of moving to London in my early 20’s and once I arrived I realised I needed a way to travel on the cheap. I grabbed a TNT magazine, rang a Student/Youth travel agency who were advertising an admin job (as I had no experience of working in travel) and talked my way into an interview. Once they heard my Australian accent, they offered me a job and before I knew it I was a Travel Consultant in one of the busiest travel centers in London. From there I got to enjoy some of the most amazing travel experiences, it felt like the world was finally on my doorstep!
What is your favourite travel memory?
Too many to name just one! I’d always wanted to see Europe for as long as I can remember, so as soon as I had the chance I packed my bags, boarded a flight and moved to London, which was also my first time on a plane. After flying for what felt like forever, arriving into Heathrow and then driving through the heart of London, I was just awestruck. I’d made it! It was the first time I’d left Australia and I then realised there was a whole world out there to discover. I ended up staying there for close to 6 years.
What has been your most challenging travel memory?
I’ll never forget taking a trip to New York from the UK and had found a much cheaper fare out of Manchester which we thought wouldn’t be such a big deal to drive there from London. We were backpackers and did everything we could to save money. We borrowed a directory and photocopied a few pages with the directions (yes, back in the days where we used good old printed maps!), but we had left out one of the pages – the most important one showing which exit to take! After setting off with plenty of time we hadn’t realised we missed the exit due to the missing page until we ended up in Sheffield instead of Manchester a few hours later. It was then the maddest dash ever through English countryside in pure panic mode, and I’ve never driven as fast as I did that day. I don’t know how we did it but we made the flight in the nick of time. To this day, I will always pay the extra money for the most convenient route, not the cheapest!
What’s your favourite airline to travel with and why?
Qantas. While living overseas and feeling a little homesick, it always felt special the minute you boarded a Qantas flight to take you home. I still get that feeling every time I fly with them – great airline, great staff.
What’s your favourite travel perk working as a travel agent?
Well, there certainly aren’t as many now as back in the good old days starting out in the travel industry. Hotels are still good with upgrades if you ask nicely and don’t mind offering to take an inspection, which is also good for research. And lounge access while traveling always makes the journey less painful.
What’s next on your travel bucket list?
There’s a few. Croatia is definitely on my radar within the next few years. I’d love one day to head to Iceland to catch the Aurora Borealis and stay in a glass igloo. My ultimate bucket list destination is to visit Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands.